What exactly is dental phobia?

What exactly is dental phobia?

sedation dentistry CharlottesvilleSpecific phobias such as dental phobia are a type of anxiety disorder that creates intense feelings of panic and nervousness among people in dental and clinical settings. Sometimes, a dental phobia can be so severe that a person will avoid necessary oral health treatment. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can greatly ease the effects of dental phobia and improve a patient’s experience in dental settings. Our oral surgeon offers different types of sedation dentistry that can assist with assuaging anxiety along with improving a person’s treatment for common procedures like the placement of dental implants or the removal of wisdom teeth.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves using specific medications to create feelings of calmness during treatment. This type of medicine can be administered intravenously or through oral tablets. It is formulated to slow down the central nervous system—specifically the parts of the brain that produce the chemicals that cause feelings of excessive worry, panic, and nervousness. In addition to treating dental phobia, sedation is useful for complex or lengthy procedures that require precision from our oral surgeon and stillness from our patients.

Are there different types of sedation?

There are different types of sedation. For very mild forms of phobia or minimally invasive treatment, nitrous oxide gas may be administered. This gas has been used in medical settings for over 100 years because its effects work and wear off quickly. Nitrous oxide produces warm euphoric feelings that also have a sedating effect.

Oral sedation is another option of those with fears that are more pronounced or those undergoing procedures that are more complex. This type of sedative normally comes from the benzodiazepine class of medications. Common brand names for this medicine include Valium or Klonopin. Since oral sedatives can impair motor function, patients will need to arrange for a ride to and from our practice.

IV sedation is normally reserved for long and complex treatment. Many times, a combination of medicines will be used to achieve the desired effect for one’s particular situation. Since the medicine is fed through an IV, its dosage can be adjusted and its effects monitored with ease.

To learn more about sedation dentistry and our services, call our practice today.